Project Overview

GATEWAYS conducts interdisciplinary climate change research on an ocean regime of regional and global significance: the Agulhas Current off southern Africa. It provides 15 Early-Stage (ESR) and 3 Experienced Researchers (ER) with extensive multi-level scientific and complementary skills training in (1) processes relevant to climatic developments and projections, (2) efficient organization and management of interdisciplinary research, and (4) proficient transfer of information between the academic and private sectors. GATEWAYS tests the sensitivity of the Agulhas Current to changing climates of the past; the Current’s influence on southern Africa climates; buoyancy transfer to the Atlantic by ‘Agulhas leakage’ around southern Africa; and modulation of the Atlantic circulation by the leakage. Training encompasses routine and novel laboratory-based methodologies; high-end equipment such as isotope-ratio and multi-sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers; high-resolution climate modelling, including accessing supercomputing facilities at national high-performance computing centres.

Schools and workshops deepen the insight gained and stimulate Network-wide discussion. Courses on project management, data processing and communication techniques are provided to develop complementary skills. Secondments, longer stays at partner institutes and internships at SME partners are further components of the training. ESR and ER acquire a solid knowledge in their own specialty field; a firm multi-level grounding in the marine and climate sciences; proficiency in analytical procedures and high-end numerical data processing and modelling; managerial skills to design and carry out research in an efficient and pragmatic way.

Further reading:
Zahn, R., J. Lutjeharms, A. Biastoch, I. Hall, G. Knorr, W. Park, C. Reason (2010), Investigating the global impacts of the Agulhas Current, EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 91, 109-116.

Lisa M. Beal, Wilhelmus P. M. De Ruijter, Arne Biastoch, Rainer Zahn & SCOR/WCRP/IAPSOWorking Group 136 (2011), On the role of the Agulhas system in ocean circulation and climate, Nature, vol. 472, 429-436